“This is Littlehaven. Nothing ever happens here. Until the spotlight hits my family.”
Izzy’s family is under the spotlight when her dad comes out as Danielle, a trans woman. Izzy is terrified her family will be torn apart. Will she lose her dad? Will her parents break up? And what will people at school say? Izzy’s always been shy, but now all eyes are on her. Can she face her fears, find her voice and stand up for what’s right?
The best thing about Nothing Ever Happens Here is something that this book is not. That might sound like a strange thing to say but it’s true. And what this book is not, is unicorns and rainbows. There are no magical fairy-tale endings, only real-life.
Izzy and her sister, Megan, are left reeling by their dad’s revelation that he is transgender and plans to start transitioning. Their five-year-old brother, Jamie, has the acceptance of a small child and seems unphased by the revelation.
The book walks with Izzy through the minutes, hours, days and weeks that follow, laying out her fears for the future – will she still have a good relationship with her dad? What will her friends say? Will she get bullied at school? Will her parents separate?
Hagger-Holt does not sugar-coat any of these questions. Izzy has the normal ups and downs of a child on the brink of her teenage years and deals with everything that comes the best way she knows how – even if it’s not always the best thing to do. And she also learns one key lesson most children do not learn until much later in life – that their parents are more than just parents: they are their own person.
I thoroughly enjoyed the combination of characters in this book; some delightful, some less so. They help to pack in so many issues, including dealing with transphobia, lack of education on LGBTQ+ matters, and negative media portrayal.
Nothing Ever Happens Here is a fast-moving and frank story of a typical family coming together to face a challenge, and although tough at times, is ultimately beautiful. Hagger-Holt deserves huge praise for this wonderful, carefully considered book.
I purchased this book and was not asked to review it.
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What do you think of Nothing Ever Happens Here? Will you be reading it? Let me know in the comments below.
Wishing you a wonderfully bookish week,